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Because Of You

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They giggled and poked each other all the way home. In the hallway, Miranda pushed Donna against the wall.

"A quickie against the wall? Yes, please," Donna moaned and tangled her hand in Miranda's hair. "Do me a favor and undress me."

Miranda's eyes sparkled. "Believe me, I'm thinking of nothing else but ripping that fucking dress off you all the time."

Donna gasped softly at hearing such a dirty word come out of Miranda's mouth, but it turned her on even more. "You make me so damn horny!" she moaned loudly.

Miranda unzipped Donna's dress. Donna held up her hands, and Miranda helped her get rid of the dress. She didn't take her eyes off her and slowly placed her hand on Donna's lower abdomen, and her palm slid down. With her eyes still on Donna's face, she moved her fingers into her panties and began to gently massage her clit. Donna couldn't hold back a surprised yelp. "Oh, yeah! yes!."

Miranda pulled the panties down and started licking her intensely. Donna began to make loud noises, so Miranda began licking the entirety of her pussy with ample saliva. Her pussy was warm and delicious. Miranda extended her tongue as far out as she could. 

"Oh, geez! That's it, eat me, go deeper. Yes, just like that..." 

"Come for me," Miranda whispered. 

It only took a few minutes before Donna climaxed like never before, and her pleasure reached a new level she had never dreamed of.

Donna woke up around five in the morning, but Miranda's place was empty. She guessed that she must be in the bathroom, so she used the downstairs bathroom without much thought. When she returned, Miranda's place was still empty. 'That's strange,' she thought. She knocked on the toilet door, and when there was no answer, she opened it, but there was no sign of Miranda. Only now did she notice that Miranda carefully laid her clothes out on the chair. Donna couldn't help smiling. When they had returned from the party, there had been no thought of such a thing. The memory of another series of extraordinary lovemaking had her pleasantly aroused. Her eyes trailed down to the bedside table where Miranda's glasses and the Book were missing. She went downstairs again and headed for the living room. Miranda sat on the bed, the book resting on her thighs. The way she looked at Donna stabbed her at heart. Miranda's eyes welled up with tears. The sadness on her face was immeasurable. Something wasn't right.

"Something happened?“ Donna let the question hang in the air.

"No, no, nothing like that,“ Miranda replied.

"Thank God," Donna sighed deeply. "But something's going on, isn't it?" She sat on the edge of the bed. "Or should I go away and leave you alone?" she questioned.

Miranda shook her head. "No, it's kind of you to come. We need to talk."

Donna panicked. She couldn't explain the sudden change. Just a few hours ago, everything had been as beautiful and exciting as it always was when they were together. Their last night of lovemaking confirmed it. And yet, something had changed.

"You know, I was thinking about last night's party."Miranda paused for a moment, "and I realized how happy you all were together. The bond you have with each other is so wonderful, and you should cherish it." Miranda began to speak in her usual calm voice. 
Miranda paused for a moment, "and I realized how happy you all were together. The bond you have with each other is so wonderful, and you should cherish it." Miranda began to speak in her usual calm voice. She looked at Donna with a sad look.

"I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean," Donna said in a shaky voice.

Miranda put the Book aside and asked Donna to sit across from her. She took Donna's hands in hers. She took a deep breath and continued. "I love you so much..."

"But?" Donna jumped in, unable to stand the tension any longer.

"I was wondering... do I have the right to drag you into my life?" Miranda looked her straight in the eye.

"Excuse me? I do. Not. Understand." Donna said in a broken voice.

"I'm constantly in the paparazzi's crosshairs, and the tabloids never miss an opportunity to smear me. It's gotten much worse since I got divorced because they're trying to catch me with a potential candidate for Mr. Priestly Number Four. I don't care what they say or write about me, but my girls, it's so unfair to them that they have to deal with this crap. Deep down, it hurts," her voice broke. "And it scares me to think how much they could hurt you or Sophia or anyone else. I mean, they'd be digging into your past, snooping everywhere, manipulating this or that. Nothing would stop them," tears streamed down her face.

Donna snuggled her to herself without words. She gently stroked her hair, trying to calm her down to understand what she had just heard. She could feel Miranda's tears rolling under her nightgown.

"I can't tell you how much this all means to me and how relieved I am," she whispered in her ear after a few moments of silence.

Miranda pulled away from her wet chest and looked at her in puzzled confusion. "Relieved?" She didn't understand.

"Yes, because I thought...that... that..."

"What?" urged Miranda impatiently.

"When you said if you had the right to drag me into your life," she shuddered, "it scared me. I mean, just a few hours ago, we were so happy, making love," she cleared her throat. " I swear you made my heart skip a beat for a moment. I thought it was over," she finished her sentence with an effort.

"You can't imagine how hard that was for me," Miranda sobbed. "But because I care so much for you, I had to. I'd rather rip my heart out than have someone ruin Sophie's life or yours."

"I’m amazed at how intensely you‘re trying to protect us. You offered me the chance to back out while we were still in the beginning, didn't you?" Donna paused.

Miranda nodded. It sounded harsh, but that's what she meant. Still, she couldn't imagine it at all. "Yes, it was my obligation to let you know that being involved with me isn't easy. Though I said that I don’t care what anybody writes or say about me, I now have this fear that one day you are going to discover that I'm not as nice as you think I am.“
 
"What are you talking about?" Donna arched an eyebrow.

'Don't tell me you haven't heard about my bad reputation," Miranda said firmly.

"'Yes, I have, but I always make my own opinion of people, you know. My friends always shake their heads and say I'm too kind, but I am that way. I don't care what they say in the tabloids or the gossip magazines."

"You don't know how much I appreciate it and what it means to me," she squeezed her hands gently. But you don't know these people, Donna. They're disgusting in every sense of the word. Once they discover your wonderful island, they'll never leave it. They'd put you, your family, your friends, all of them under the magnifying glass for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They'll bother you all with all sorts of stupid questions. They'll take pictures of you and your island, that's my point, you know? You wouldn't have a minute to yourself."

"Look," Donna said after a moment. "I don't underestimate anything you've told me, Miranda. Yes, I do not deny that it sounds a little scary. But now that you've let me know what we might be dealing with, trust me, we'll be prepared for those unwanted visitors. And I don't think anything could hurt us more than what we went through last year," she lowered her eyes.

"Are you sure about that? From what you've told me, I understand that this is a harrowing experience for you, and that's what I'm warning you about. They're going to dig into your past." Miranda sighed heavily. They might open up old unhealed wounds for you," Miranda sighed again.

Donna fell silent for quite a while.

"Speaking of my old unhealed wounds. If someone had told me a week ago that I would be out of my mess in a few days, I would have called that person crazy. But that's what happened. You showed up in the middle of my chaos, and in just two days, you made me realize that I can be happy without the person I once thought I needed the most."

Miranda's eyes moistened with emotion. "You mean that guy." 

"Yes, that's him. His name is Sam Carmichael," Donna replied.

"You still have feelings for him, don't you?" Miranda asked directly.

Donna looked at her in surprise. Deep down, she felt the need to talk to Miranda about her past and finally close this chapter for good.

"I understand that you're pretty confused about all of this. I care about us, Miranda, and I don't want you to have any doubts, especially about my relationship with the man around whom the hints keep swirling. Up until now, he's been a part of my life. No, he hasn't. I've been the one hanging on to him all these years. Sounds silly, doesn't it?" Donna smiled bitterly. "Even though he broke my heart twice and we had no future ahead of us, I couldn't let him go. So that you understand what I meant by helping me get over it so quickly, I want to share my story with you, if you'd like," Donna paused. 

"Of course I want to!" Miranda replied immediately. 

"Wait a minute, let me show you something." Donna stood up and took a thin pink book from the bookcase. "It's the diary I kept the year I was pregnant with Sophie. Unfortunately, my daughter found it when she was going through some old trunks last year. Open it and read it, please." Donna handed her the diary.

That caught Miranda off guard. "Me?" she gasped. 

"Yes. I'd appreciate it if you did that for both of us." Donna kissed her on the cheek.

Miranda cleared her throat, opened her diary, and read:

'July 17th. What a night! Sam rowed me over to the little island.'

"This is it. It is Kalokairi," Donna informed her.

"I see," Miranda nodded and continued reading. 'We danced on the beach, we kissed on the beach, and dot, dot, dot.'

What does dot, dot, dot mean? Miranda asked, confused.

Donna smiled and blushed. "Um, you know, that's the kind of thing we do quite a lot these days."

"You mean, Let’s do some 'we shouldn’t be doing this‘ things?" Miranda winked at her.

Donna laughed heartily. "Yes, exactly."

"Dot, dot, dot, that's cute," Miranda giggled. "I'll have to remember that," she added, returning to her reading.

'Sam's the one. I know he is. I've never felt like this before. All this time, Sam has been telling me he loves me, and now he's announced that he's engaged, so he's gone home to get married, and I'm never going to see him again.'

That was damn cruel," Miranda said as this was new information to her.

"My whole world flipped over. Sam told me he loved me. He slept with me. Then he tore my heart to pieces. I yelled at him that I never wanted to see him again, but deep inside, I was dying. I had to face up to the fact that whatever existed between us was over. He was my first love, but he didn't have to be my last. Let's keep reading."

'August 4. What a night! Though I'm still obsessed with Sam, Bill's so wild. He's such a funny guy. One thing led to another and dot, dot, dot.'

Donna didn't comment on this, so Miranda continued.

'August eleventh. Harry turned up out of the blue, so I said I'd show him the island. He's so sweet and understanding, I couldn't help it and dot, dot, dot!'

"Sam was gone, and although they were both gentle and nice, I didn't fall in love with either of them. But my worst nightmare came a month later when I didn't get my period. I knew inside of me I was pregnant. It was such a strange, indescribable feeling. And yet, I was shocked when I went to my local gynecologist, and she confirmed it! I didn't know what to do, so the first thing I did was call my mother and tell her about my pregnancy. I knew she wouldn't be proud of me, but I didn't expect her to kick me out of the house. When she told me not to bother coming back, she broke my heart into a million pieces."

Miranda saw tears in Donna's eyes. "Honestly, I don't know what to say. I know I'm not the best mother in the world, but I would never throw my daughters out of the house for anything. What the hell kind of mother forbids her pregnant daughter from coming home?" Miranda fumed. "That's beyond understanding and completely inexcusable!" 

"My mother was like a general.  She had everything lined up, and my father, who wanted to be at peace with her, rarely disagreed. She was obsessed with my school grades and even drove me to piano lessons to make sure I didn't mess around. The turning point came in high school. I was in class with Tanya, and her good friend was none other than Rosie," Donna smiled. "They liked to sing as much as I did, and our voices fit together quite well. We entered several competitions and were quite successful. Then Rosie got the idea to go to Europe. I don't need to tell you how much my mother loved the idea! But Tanya's parents were from the so-called high society, and my mother was very much inclined towards those people, so she let me go for her."

"Your mother never tried to contact you again?" Miranda still couldn't get over the cruel decision.

"No, she didn't," Donna shook her head. "Why would she do that? She hung up immediately after the phone call and clarified that she wanted nothing more to do with me. I decided to stay on the mainland. I found a sublet with Rosie and Tanya's help, and they stayed with me for a few more weeks. We sang in the local bars and became immensely popular. After one of our performances, someone mentioned that they were looking for someone willing to look after an elderly lady daily. I visited her the next day, and she offered me not only a job but also accommodation. She was a great comfort to me when my mother was not around. I was nineteen and immature to have a child, and she helped me so much when Sophie was little. She was a great, great grandmother. She loved us like we were her real family. As I mentioned earlier, I named Sophie after her.
Rosie and Tanya would come back to us for a while, and we'd keep singing, but then it stopped. Tanya had a significant drinking problem by then, and Rosie became a famous cookbook writer and traveled worldwide. Over the years, she stopped by now and then, which was good because we kept in touch, and when we set Sophie's wedding date, I was able to invite them. Twenty years later, the past crossed my path again when my daughter read the diary and wanted to know who her father was and sent out a wedding announcement on my behalf. All three of them showed up the day before the wedding day. I was shocked when I met them at my old goat house."

"Goathouse?" Miranda exclaimed.

"Yes, but it doesn't exist anymore. Sophie housed them there to avoid meeting me. But it's all my fault because I had unprotected sex with all three of them, and my daughter knew it!"

"Oh, you're too hard on yourself, Donna. How many young people had protected sex back then?" Miranda tried not to make Donna feel so guilty. "People do it all the time."

"Well, that's not an excuse," Donna replied. "I should have acted responsibly."

"But honey, that was years ago! You were young and desperate. When our feelings are hurt, we do things we wouldn't normally do. Be proud of what you've accomplished instead of constantly blaming yourself. I'm sure Sophie had no hard feelings towards you. Neither do I. Never apologize for being a fucking strong woman. You know what I mean?" Miranda squeezed her hands tightly.

Donna wanted to say something but couldn't. Miranda's encouraging attitude gave her pause for a moment. "I'm so glad I opened up to you," she moved closer to her. "I knew it was the right thing to do, even though I was kind of afraid of what you'll say back!"

"Why did you even think of that?" Miranda couldn't believe it. "Look at me, darling. I'm built from every mistake I have ever made. Your past doesn't change my feelings for you," she smiled at her.  

Donna was so happy for Miranda’s deep understanding of her insecurities. She had never opened up to anyone else like this except her best friends, Rosie and Tanya, but with Miranda, it was different. "You see me at my worst, but only talk about my best. I want you to know that it means everything to me,“ her hand wove through Miranda’s hair and continued with her story.

"I never told anyone about it, and I kept it to myself all these years. Even my best friends didn't know about it. They thought Sam was her father. And then when they suddenly showed up, all I cared about was that Sophie never found out. Of course, I couldn't know that she already knew everything and that she was the one who invited them. However, I did meet them and learned that they were three strangers who had coincidentally met on the mainland. Each of them thought he was her father, but none of them knew it could be any of them. It drove me crazy to look into Sam's face after all these years and feel like he never left. Deep inside, I was both angry and happy that he was back. Sure, I hadn't told him, but I knew that he could sense that I still had feelings for him, and I knew that he felt the same way about me. I was so desperate. I was busy preparing for the wedding and dealing with it all at the same time. I kept thinking about them because I couldn't figure out why they had shown up the day before Sophie's wedding, and after I threw them out of the goat house, I had no idea where they were or when they would show up again.
Sam somehow managed to find me alone, and we talked for a while. It was quite an uncomfortable conversation, and he tried to tell me what was best for Sophie and me. He pissed me off with his stupid remarks, and I told him I didn't need a middle-aged man telling me how to run my life.   

Then the wedding day came, and he met with me again and asked me who would walk Sophie down the aisle. When I told him it would be me, he asked what if her father wanted to do it too? I begged him to stop and told him how much he had hurt me by letting me go, and I ran away from him, crying up to the church. By the time I got near, I had to pull myself together enough to keep from going completely insane.
When the priest said I was representing Sophie's family, I couldn't take the tension anymore. I stood up and said we should welcome Sophie's father too. That's when the madness began! The three stood up at once, looked at each other in confusion, and quickly sat down again. Sophie told me that she knew and invited him, and I replied that she couldn't because I didn't know which one it was. It was at that exact moment that it hit me. That's why they were all there. It was so embarrassing in front of all those people and especially my daughter. I begged her for forgiveness, but she assured me that she couldn't care less if I slept with hundreds of men and that I was her mom and that she loved me very much. I was red on my ass," Donna rolled her eyes. "I had to tell her that I hadn't slept with hundreds of men, and I thought we could finally move on and concentrate on the wedding ceremony." 

"Am I boring you yet?"  Donna gave Miranda a questioning look.

"Of course not! Do I look bored?" Miranda wondered. "I'm anxious to hear what comes next," she urged her to continue.

"It won't take long because we are getting to the point where everything has screwed up. Sam walked towards the aisle and asked if he understood that Sophie could be his, Harry's, or Bill's. So I said yes, and told him not to blame me because it was his fault and alone. Sophie was unhappy about the ongoing situation and said that he just dumped on me and left and married someone else.
So he started telling us that he had to come home because he was engaged. He said to his fiancée, Lorraine, that he couldn't marry her and went right back to Kalokairi. I asked him why he hadn't called me then. He told me he was such a fool that he thought I would be waiting for him. And when he arrived, he found out I was off with some other guy. So he meekly went back to Lorraine, who allegedly called him an idiot and married him to prove it."

"Did he say he thought you were going to wait for him? Did I miss something?" Miranda shook her head in disbelief.

"Exactly! I couldn't believe he had the nerve to say that to my face. He told me he loved me the whole time and then leaving me the day after we slept together. He realized he was engaged and had to go home to get married. How in the world are you going to wait for someone who hurt you and left you for another?" 

"Hell, yes, that was my point! So he came home to marry someone he didn't even want?" 

"I didn't get it either, but when he pointed his finger at me, I lost it. That was the last straw. Oh my God, at that moment, I felt like the world's biggest slut. I didn't understand why in the world he was doing this. It pissed me off so much that he had to talk about it in front of all those people. When I looked at Sophie and saw the horrified look on her face, I asked him to leave and never come back kindly. It wasn't hard at the time because Sophie's wedding was everything to me. I had worked so hard for it, and I certainly wouldn't let anyone ruin her wedding any more than it already was at that moment. I had worked so hard for it, and I certainly wouldn't let anyone ruin her wedding any more than it already was at that moment. Not even Sam Carmichael.  The ceremony was beautiful, and we enjoyed every minute of it. The days after, not so much. Of course, I tried my best not to show how much I was hurting, especially my daughter. I just said I was disappointed in Sam's behavior, and she apologized a million times for what she did to me. They didn't even go on their honeymoon because of it. They decided to stay with me until I felt better."

"It was very thoughtful of them," Miranda said. "You and your daughter, it seems like nothing, and no one will ever break your bond."

"That's true. I've never regretted a second of having my child. It hasn't always been easy, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. And to our good fortune, there were always so many kids around us that she grew up with. I made my living giving them piano and English lessons."

"Oh, silly me," Miranda smacked her forehead. "I kept thinking there was something unusual here. And this is it. I've noticed that the young people speak perfect English, and Sheridan doesn't sound Greek to me either. Now I realize you mentioned wanting to go to Europe, and you speak with the same accent I do. Are you from New York?" Miranda wondered. Her gestures and facial expressions made Donna laugh.

"I love you so much," she kissed her cheek. "Yes, indeed, I am from New York," Donna smiled broadly. "I lived there until I was 19."

Miranda was fascinated by how much they had in common. She wanted to say it out loud, but her curiosity about what would follow commanded her to keep quiet. At least for now.
"You know, my daughters play the piano too, but I rarely make their recitals, which I'm very sorry about. Their teacher says they're talented, and I hope she means it." Miranda smiled bitterly. "That's the other side of the coin when you're a celebrity. It's often hard to tell what they mean sincerely and when it's just an act."

"Yes, it must be hard. I can listen to the girls if you'd like. Do they only play the classics?"

"Sure, what else?" Miranda raised an eyebrow.

"You know, I didn't enjoy it because playing Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and others over and over for hours was boring. So whenever mother wasn't home, I'd listen to the songs playing on the radio and just try to catch the tunes on the piano. I could have spent all day doing that. It was so much fun. That's what I tell my students: do your homework first, and then just play for fun and discover that joy. Music should be fun, not torture."

Miranda stared at her. "I never thought of it that way. You are truly an amazing woman," she played with Donna's hair.

"I can be pretty strict too," Donna smiled.

"Really?" Miranda teased her. "Can I ask you something personal?"

"Of course. You can ask me anything, honey."

"You've never dated anyone?"

"A lot of men wanted to date me, some of them were very rich indeed, and they came back, again and again, hoping I'd change my mind. But the lesson I learned was too hard. I stayed single because I didn't need anyone ruining my life. I was ruining it perfectly on my own. My heart was taken by him, even though he wasn't worth it." Donna shrugged. "I don't know if I could have ever let him go if it hadn't been for you," she smiled admiringly at Miranda. "Thanks to you, I was finally able to get my life back on track. To wipe away my tears, erase him from my thoughts, and start over because I missed being myself. I'm so happy to be me again. And that's my answer to your question: No, I don't have feelings for him."

Miranda felt immensely relieved. "It means so much to me. It touches me deeply to hear that I'm the reason that helped you get back on track. I'm mostly known for getting people out of the track," she smiled bitterly. "I'm not saying I'm perfect. I know. I'm far from it. I'm just saying that I'm worth it."

Donna put Miranda's hand to her heart. "You make my heart dance. I love you just the way you are, Miranda. I want all your flaws, faults, smile, giggles, jokes, sarcasm, and everything. I don't want you to change one bit. I just want you."

Miranda was all soft. She secretly hoped her reputation wouldn't put off Donna. "You know, one of the main reasons my marriages failed was because my exes tried to change me instead of accepting me as I am. When I went through my recent divorce, I said to myself, if he was stupid enough to leave, be smart enough to let him go. And even though it hurt more than I expected, it was very liberating. I could finally start breathing freely, and I didn't have to argue with him about anything. The pain didn't last long anyway, and my daughters and I became very close, which I am incredibly grateful for. I promised them I wouldn't bring them another father. But now everything has changed," she smirked at Donna. 

Donna blushed heavily. "I know we're going to have to approach all of this very carefully, and it's certainly not going to be easy. None of us know what kind of reaction we can expect from our daughters. However, you are my future, Miranda. I want to start a new chapter in my life, and I want it with you because I believe strongly in us. I do."

"Thank you so much," Miranda sobbed. "I feel the same way. I guess we're going to have to face bigger obstacles to be with each other. I may be a difficult person to love, but when I love, it's with everything." 

"Oh, you're not a difficult person to love, honey. It's the other way around," Donna smiled. "You found parts of me that I didn't know existed, and I found a love in you that I no longer believed was real. I only wish I had known you earlier," Donna whispered.

"Me too, but who knows if it would have worked. I think we met at the right place at the right time. I'm so comfortable with you, and, amazingly, I don't have to pretend to be anyone or anything. I'm so ready for our future together."

Donna kissed her passionately and whispered, " I'm so ready for Let's do some 'we shouldn't be doing this' things."

Miranda grinned. "Yeah. Let's misbehave."